With great thanks to Robert Holmstedt who sent it along. This is Michael V. Fox. 1987. Hebrew Studies 28:6-8. You all know by now of my loathing for endnotes ((I have stated my dislike before, a few times.)) I had no idea that Fox, or anyone, had ever so clearly and in such a sustained manner commented on this matter. I also look forward to following up on the (ironically located) endnotes in his footnote, particularly the references to Bowersock ((“The art of the footnote,” The American Scholar, 1983/84.)). What makes this all the sweeter is that it comes from within our own field.
Thank you Prof. Fox. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Forever, thank you.
Please, read this, the best ever footnote and enjoy. Fox on Footnotes (PDF)
12 thoughts on “Now THIS is the BEST footnote. Ever. By a wide margin.”
This is lovely.
have you ever read al franken’s section on ‘how to lie with footnotes’ in “lies: and the lying liars who tell them”?
#1 is: if you want to lie using footnotes, “don’t have footnotes. footnotes are easy to reference. use endnotes. they are much harder to reference.”
By coincidence, a friend showed me this morning that Stephen King in Danse Macabre, claims to have written the “longest footnote in history” about writer Harlan Ellison’s involvement with Star Trek: The Movie. It’s worth taking a look: go to http://www.amazon.com/Danse-Macabre-Stephen-King/dp/B0057DBN42/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325875475&sr=1-1#reader_B0057DBN42 and search for “footnote”.
Have a look at the structure of Kuenen’s Hexateuch.
The best footnotes ever are found in George McDonald Fraser’s series of ‘Flashman’ novels. Illuminating and a fun read all in and of themselves. the last word n footnotes if you’ll pardon the pun.
When I checked the Amazon link, the Danse Macabre footnote was not visible. When I checked Google Books, I could read it there.
Personally, I like the footnotes of Terry Pratchett, but I’m one of *those*….